In the newest release of Intune, support for the Managed Google iFrame has been added. This means a newer version of the Managed Google Play store had been inbedded into the Intune Console. The iFrame adds two new features:
- Deploying Web Links from within the Intune Portal
- Deploying private applications (applications your company developed in-house)
These two features are available for all Android enterprise enrollment types:
- Work Profile
- Fully Managed
In this blog, I will show how to deploy a link to an Android Enterprise device and what different options there are. I will assume you already have a device enrolled into Intune.
Add the web link
Navigate to the Intune management portal and select ‘Client Apps’ – ‘Apps’ – ‘Add’.
Select ‘Managed Google Play’ as the desired app type. Managed Google Play is the app type for all Android Enterprise deployments (Kiosk, Fully Managed and Work Profile).
After this , the Google iFrame will open. In the left hand corner you have three options:
- Search Play Store – Deploy Google Play Store apps to your devices
- Private Apps – Upload your LOB app (in APK format)
- Web apps – Deploy a web link
We want to deploy a web link, so select ‘Web apps’
In the next screen, you will be able to view your current web apps. Click to plus sign at the bottomright to add a new web app.
Now it’s time to provide all the details for the web link. Fill in the following information:
- Title – This is the name of the shortcut on the device
- URL – URL the web link should point at
- Display – This configures the UI when opening the weblink
Here we have three options:
- Full screen: the site is shown in full screen, the status and navigation bars are hidden.
- Standalone: the navigation and status bars are visible.
- Minimal UI: This option displays the URL bar and the refresh button
- Icon – Upload your own icon file.
It takes a few moments (1-2) minutes before Google has processed your request, so go get your coffee and then sync the Managed Google Play Store to Intune.
To sync the link to Intune, go back to the ‘Client Apps’ overview, click on ‘Managed Google Play’ and select Sync.
Now you will see the app in the ‘Apps’ overview. Just assign the app to the desire group!
The web links are pushed relatively fast to the devices. In the image below, you can view the end result of the three different displays.
The full screen mode behaves as expected and hides the navigation and status bars.
The standalone mode however is not showing the expected behavior as it shows a lot more than the status and navigation bars. It is exactly the same as minimal mode! I have tested this on Fully Managed device running Android 7.0 and on devices with a Work Profile running Android 9 and 10 . They all had the same behavior. This seems to be a bug in the Google Managed Play Store.
I have found two gotchas when deploying URLs this way:
- When using the minimal display layout, closing the the site by pressing the cross doesn’t work. This would be very confusing for your users and that’s why I recommend using the full screen layout.
- Before you open the links, Google Chrome needs to be installed on the device. Having Edge on there isn’t enough.